Ida Shahnaz Saleh-Kirsch

With her husband Ken and daughter Alia by her side, Ida Shahnaz Saleh-Kirsch, 68, lost her second round with breast cancer at her Oak Park home on Sept. 21, 2022.

Born of Iraqi parentage in Tehran, Iran on March 25, 1954, she was the daughter of Nessim and Teffeh Saleh. She attended the Tehran Community School and U.S. International University locations in San Diego, London and Evian-les-Bain, France. Fluent in English, French, Farsi and Arabic, she returned to Tehran to work for Pan American Airways.

Due to political unrest, she immigrated to New York City in 1978 and quickly grew to love her adopted city. Through her love of skiing, which she learned in Iran, she met her life mate and future husband in the mountains of Vermont when she crashed a New Year’s party at his share house. Luck had it that both lived in New York City working across the street from each other. Fate was set in motion and three years later on New Year’s Eve 1993, he proposed in Puerto Banus, Spain and they were married at Temple Israel in Manhattan on May 22, 1993.

Their Arizona honeymoon began a 30-year journey of traveling across the U.S. and international destinations. She treasured the annual Fish Creek trip in Door County, Wisconsin with sunsets at Sunset Point and bonfires at the cabin. This was the “real America” she had heard about from Americans who told of a beautiful country with endless plains, large lakes and shining seas.

She loved the backyard garden where she enjoyed its changing flowers all season long. Chicago winters were rough for her, and she was known to wear a winter coat until June, even indoors.

Her warmth, easy-going style and “light up the room” smile had a huge impact on friends near and wide, co-workers, neighbors, and extended family in the United States, Israel, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

On Sunday, 3 p.m., Nov. 13, at Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion a memorial will be held and available on Zoom at the Temple’s website,

Arrangements were handled by Kopicki Family Funeral House in Berywn.

Donations to Everytown USA, the Oak Park Conservatory, Oak Park Temple Caring Committee, and would be appreciated in keeping with the causes she cared most about. Zecher Tzadeket Livracha – May her memory be for a blessing.

Join the discussion on social media!